September 20th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
There are 480,000 school buses in America, making them the largest fleet of commercial vehicles in the nation. By comparison, there are just 96,000 public transit buses, 35,000 intra-city buses, 7,400 airplanes, and 1,200 railway passenger cars. Now imagine all those school buses were electrics, equipped with batteries of about 150 kWh, and they all could be connected to the electrical grid using V2G technology. Consider that all those buses are only in service for a few hours a day, leaving their batteries available to supply electricity to the grid the majority of the day. Holy education, Batman! We now have the mother of all virtual power plants!
Nuvve Corporation, headquartered in San Diego, has partnered with Blue Bird, America’s largest school bus supplier, to bring electric school buses equipped with its vehicle to grid technology to school systems across America. Blue Bird has delivered over 100 electric school buses so far. As of now, Blue Bird’s Vision Type C and All American Type D electric school buses are equipped with a CCS connector capable of V2G charging the buses in about 3 hours. Both models have a 155 kWh battery and a range of up to 120 miles on.
The charger is compliant with all V2G interconnection regulations and meets UL-1741-SA certification requirements specifically mandated for California V2G installations. When the buses are parked and connected to the grid, their batteries can provide services such as frequency regulation and demand response duties in real time. Those services can earn extra dollars for fleet operators, helping to offset the purchase price of the buses.
“We now have standard products, both from charging station OEMs and electric bus manufacturers who are reputable market leaders, that will allow us to scale and ramp up V2G installations across the nation,” said Gregory Poilasne, CEO of Nuvve. “Electric school buses that are V2G enabled have the potential to play a critical role to help stabilize the electric grid. We are proud to partner with Blue Bird to provide a cleaner transportation solution for children and a renewable energy storage solution that will help the environment and our communities.”
“We believe bringing new cutting edge technology to the school transportation market is essential so that children can travel in the cleanest, quietest, and safest vehicles on the road,” says Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird. “V2G has the ability to make our electric school buses more affordable to districts and, combined with Nuvve’s experience with utility and grid services, our collaboration will be key to developing the future of clean transportation.”
The new joint offer from Nuvve and Blue Bird is available through Blue Bird’s national dealer network, which can help local school districts navigate the entire electric bus implementation process including financing of the buses and chargers, installation support, fleet management services, and V2G services. But the best part is that our school children will no longer have to walk through a miasma of diesel exhaust fumes as the enter and exit the buses. Subjecting kids to diesel exhaust every day as they travel to and from school has negative impacts on their cardiovascular and pulmonary health. It may also diminish brain function, making it harder for them to learn. If there is any scenario where electric transportation makes perfect sense, it is transporting students to and from school.
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